Philippines’ Makati and Cebu Cities among top ‘selfiest’ cities in the world!

Another feather added to the Philippines’ cap of dubious acheivements! Two Philippine cities made it to the Top Ten “Selfiest” cities in the world. A database compiled by TIME, reveals that the Philippines’ financial centre Makati City produced “more selfies per capita than any other city in the world.” Following Makati, which logged “258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people” is Cebu City ranked Number 9 delivering “99 selfie-takers per 100,000 people”. Baguio City made Number 16 with 82 selfie-takers per 100,000.

Data sampling was quick and dirty via the Instagram API, but nonetheless “far and away the most comprehensive means of comparing the 459 world cities”…

The photos were downloaded from the Instagram API in two sets of five days: from Jan. 28-Feb.2, 2014 and Mar. 3-7, 2014. Each day’s data consists of the 24-hour period from midnight to midnight to account for all time zones equally. During that time, 402,197 Instagram photos tagged “selfie” that included geographic coordinates [were collected].

The findings seem to be consistent with past observations about Filipinos’ renowned narcissistic tendencies. Indeed, back in 2011, another study did confirm this

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[…] a recent survey conducted by global market research company, Synovate Inc. revealed that 48 percent of Filipino males felt they were sexually attractive. This revelation made another global media outlet, CNN International conclude that Filipino men are the most narcissistic in Asia.

Filipino politicians lead the selfie craze.

Filipino politicians lead the selfie craze.

Although most individuals have some narcissistic traits, high levels of narcissism can manifest themselves in a pathological form as narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), whereby the patient overestimates his or her abilities and has an excessive need for admiration and affirmation. Joan Jutta Lachkar author of the book The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Marital Treatment described the notion of cross-cultural narcissism in the context of immigrants observing how the “cross-cultural narcissist brings to his new country a certain amount of nationalistic pride, which he holds onto relentlessly. He refuses to adapt and will go to great lengths to maintain his sense of special identity.”

In one of the luncheons he hosted a few years ago for clients of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco asked the writer Francisco Sionil Jose to share some of his observations of the current scene. On the subject of Filipino narcissism, Jose wrote that “We [Filipinos] are great show-offs. Look at our women, how overdressed, over- coiffed they are, and Imelda epitomizes that extravagance. Look at our men, their manicured nails, their personal jewelry, their diamond rings. Yabang – that is what we are, and all that money expended on status symbols, on yabang. How much better if it were channeled into production. We are poor because our nationalism is inward looking.”

Then again, such “surveys” need to be taken with a grain of salt. After all, a Social Weather Stations, (SWS) survey reportedly commissioned by the National Book Development Board in 2012 “revealed that the Filipinos who more frequently watch TV are more likely to read non-school books.” The subjects of all this Filipino reading leave a lot to be desired, however, considering that the survey revealed that “the Bible (58 percent) remains the most popular book read, followed by romance books (25 percent), and cooking books (21 percent).”

[NB: Parts of this article were lifted from the article “Narcissism” in a manner compliant to the terms stipulated in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that governs usage of content made available in this site.]

31 Replies to “Philippines’ Makati and Cebu Cities among top ‘selfiest’ cities in the world!”

    1. It’s starting. There was an offhand comment from one of those bubbleheaded DJs on the FM band celebrating Makati’s ‘selfie’ capital designation as a boost for international tourism.

  1. Perfectly underscores the Pinoy attention-seeking culture. Are we really surprised? This is long overdue! While other countries make do with their reality TV bimbos and wild-child pop superstars, we here have an entire nation completely at it.

  2. For pinoys, selfies is just one way in which they can show off. Something to show that they are “moving with the times”, they have the latest gadgets and have money to spare for the monthly bill to go with that. That also comes with telling the whole world where they spent their weekend, where they ate, what car they have….. well, just about anything they do that has to do with being better than the other person.

    Also goes to show, that they are not just physically loud, but loud in telling other people that they are better than the rest.

    Puro kayabangan, Jose is right….

    1. It’s narcissism at it’s finest. We can blame Facebook for this “selfie generation” because humble people are slowly turned into materialistic and self-centered individuals who think people should know what is going on in their lives everyday.

      I mean I don’t give a fcuk on someone who posts pictures of her food from morning until evening, everyday. Or someone parading herself with different outfits or the latest Prada she has bought for a couple of days. Clearly, this “selfie generation” has brought self-pride to a worse level.

      1. I use Facebook to keep in touch with people who are far away – old friends, family members and relatives, batchmates, acquaintances and associates. It has its uses.

        The disadvantage of it stems from the mass of idiots who have nothing better to do with their time.

  3. I see no problems with Selfies to be honest. Everyone does it even Hollywood stars as shown in the Oscars.

    Filipinos probably do it more because of their social and communal nature. I mean many here think it’s weird that people eat out in restos alone, while people from other countries do it.

    I do think this does show the ever growing division between our social classes. We now have a robust middle class that are able to adapt to these technologies and trends but the gap between the middle class and poor is ever growing.

    If you look around there’s still a lot of poor people, the ones that are left behind in the ever changing fast paced technological world.

    1. So you see nothing wrong in vanity and being self absorbed as long as one can afford it? So having disposable income is a license to do an Evil Queen from Snow White act? You should work for Bam. Who is hideous.

    2. You think it is only the middle class doing the selfie thing?

      A lot from the lower income bracket do this too. Paying for a gadget as “hulugan”, and scrimping on other “necessities” just to be able to “keep up”. They are everywhere, trying to look “up to date” but suffering financially. So that is no problem? For you, maybe, but further down the road, what values would these people give to their children as parents (if they are not yet one)? Soon this country will be 100% full of idiots who do not know values even if it hit them in between the eyes.

      1. I know someone like that who has a pre-teen daughter, lahat na yata ng luho sa anak nya ibinigay na: smartphone, laptop with internet, tablet, she even bought 2 dogs na me breed (syempre hindi basta-basta ang pagkain nun), pinag-aaral sa mamahaling school (25k per semester), laging me bagong gamit yung bata. Tapos ang sahod lang nya almost 16k/month. And because of these “luho” nagtitiis sya sa pagkain ng pancit canton araw-araw. Ang katwiran nya hindi nya raw kasi naranasan magkaroon ng mga ganung bagay nung maliit pa sya. Walang masama kung gusto nyang sumaya yung anak nya pero ang lahat ng sobra, eh hindi ba, masama. I mean, anong klaseng values ba ang itinuturo nito sa bata?

  4. Typical. Filipinos in general think they are so bloody important. Just look how people drive. No courtesy what-so-ever. Just “me first”. I’m gods gift to the world! If stupidity would hurt, the Philippines would be the world capital of most people screaming in pain.

    1. One more thing: If it is something stupid, totally unimportant and useless, we are always on top. But when it comes to things that would really count, we are nowhere to be found.

    2. Totally agree with you. Driving is just a manifestation of inconsideration and self importance. They are rude and don’t give me this crap about hospitality.

  5. Men taking selfies! – as gay as a judy garland fan , as camp as a row of pink tents, as bent as a 90 peso note, as queer as elton john and a bunch of daffodils.

    No surprise that the gay capital of the UK – manchester – also on the list. Canal street on a saturday night, don’t drop anything!

    Real men don’t take selfies.
    Sensible men don’t date girls who take selfies

  6. I do agree that Filipinos take way more selfies than they should. I would like to point out however, that the study took into account only those selfies which were tagged as selfies by the uploader, which may skew the numbers. I suspect Filipinos may just be more likely to tag selfies as selfies versus New Yorkers, Floridans, and Californians, who came 2nd to 4th. Filipinos most likely still top, but the differences between groups may be less than the study would have us believe. Narcissism isn’t restricted to Filipinos.

    Nothing wrong with the occasional selfie. If you’re out to dinner with a friend you haven’t seen in a while and want to take a picture, better to take a selfie than to get a busy waiter to do it for you. Just keep it tasteful.

    1. You’re missing the point. That Makati is the ‘selfiest’ city on the planet is irrelevant. So is any attempt to explain the phenomenon, much less justify it. The problem is our people’s hubris — ‘yabang’ as F. Sionil Jose opined. With all of the problems Filipinos face, It is frustrating that we are overly obsessed with empty expressions of momentary fame and status.

  7. Filipinos are the most “show-off” race, I’ve ever see. I went to a Gala Dinner Party recently, in the U.S. I have seen Filipinos and their wives, wearing “bright sparkling diamonds”; driving : Mercedes cars, BMWs, Lexus, Jaguars, etc…When I talked to them; they were ” magpahagin” and, “pataasan ng ihi”…I thought, I was in the famed “New York City Gala Dance Party”…where the truly rich and famous; and “high society people” congregate.

    It maybe because, we all came from a poor and needy country…and have found prosperity in the U.S. That, we Filipinos in the U.S., became narcissitic…

  8. Another thing that comes to mind: whatever is the latest fad, Filipinos try to beat everyone else at it. There’s this attitude, instead of keeping up with the Joneses, it’s beating the Joneses. It’s still unhealthy if you ask me.

  9. The narcissism is definitely having an impact on the younger generation. My girlfriend’s neice is only two years old and has already been conditioned to insist on having her picture taken throughout the day and instantly checking out the results.

    They live in a concrete cube and struggle to pay P2000 rent, but they found the money for smartphones and tablets.

  10. There’s no more revolutionary an invention in present times than the Internet, where you could have instant and easy access to all of humanity’s collected knowledge and information and a great instrument that could be used to spur further creativity and innovation. I don’t use the internet everyday without learning a thing or two.

    And what do most Filipinos use it for? Selfies and all sorts of trivial crap. Such wasted opportunity and potential.

    They think that having two of their cities as selfie capitals is something of a badge of pride. When will this country have something that is ACTUALLY worth being proud of…

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